A Harper McIntire building history lesson

Michael Gibbs with GLD Commercial shares a Harper McIntire building history lesson from 411 6th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Harper and McIntire Company was a wholesale hardware business established in Ottumwa, Iowa in the late 1800’s. The company set its sights on Cedar Rapids due to its central location and advantageous railroad connections.

Plans for a branch wholesale hardware house in the city were announced in July 1921 and initially called for a seven-story modern concrete warehouse but were scaled back to four stories with an additional two stories for a tower enclosing the water tank.

Steel and concrete construction allowed the building to be fireproof and one of the Midwest’s most modern wholesale hardware plants. It is equipped with electric elevators and spiral runway chutes that deliver goods directly to loading docks.

The building opened in June 1922 and business grew beyond expectations expanding its offerings to farming equipment and tools, industrial supplies, housewares and auto accessories.

In 1982, they relocated to a warehouse on the SW side before ceasing operations in Cedar Rapids. Smulekoff’s Furniture Company took over the warehouse in 1980 and remained there for 30 years before closing their business in 2014.

Since then, it has been completely renovated. Other tenants in the building include The Harmac Event Center, Private Wealth Asset Management, Foth Engineering and Pigott.

There are currently two spaces available for lease. 4,578 square feet (SF) of open-concept retail/office space on the first floor and 1,227 SF of office space for lease on the third floor.

Search available Cedar Rapids office, retail, warehouse, land and multi-family properties.

For additional info:
National Register of Historic Places